My deskmate in elementary school
had blue nails, blue lips, and a big irreparable hole in his heart.
He was marked by death. He was invisible.
He used to sit on a stone
guarding our coats
as we played in the playground, that alchemy of sweat and dust.

The one marked to be king
is cold, ready for a free fall
born prematurely from a sad womb.
And the redheaded woman waiting for her drunk husband to return
will go on waiting for one hundred years.
It isn’t the alcohol; she is marked by ‘waiting.’
And he only as guilty as an onlooker
pushed indoors by rain.

What’s more, it isn’t the war
that took the life of the young boy
with melancholy eyes. He was marked as well, born to be on the recruiter’s
Melancholy is the standard arsenal of war.

And then there is one marked for survival
who will continue to eat his offspring like a polar bear
that never notices the warming climate.

All of them are as closed as theorems, their sky
a rental home
where hammering even a single nail of change is forbidden
They are waiting for their next command, which they will ignore anyway
like the Argonauts who filled their ears with wax
and rowed on through the sirens’ path.